Showing posts with label New Year Eve. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Year Eve. Show all posts

Friday, January 06, 2017

They want you to forget...

Just as we're digesting the copious quantities of grilled chicken (or whatever it is that vegetarians binge on) and booze, we have news of 'Rape Night' (aka New Year's eve) pouring in.

The media has done a superfragaliciously fantastic job of saying how Bangalore has become the 'Rape Night' capital of India. Politicians with the foot in mouth disease have been caught having their regular bouts of verbal diarrhea. 


Rape, sexual abuse, sodomy, molestation, outraging the modesty of a person. All words that used to shock our conscience and question the path of our society. Now, we barely twitch a nerve. 

This post isn't about my take on rape. This post, however, is about a pattern I've begun to notice.

  • Everytime something like this is reported (unreported crimes don't qualify for our fanciful outbursts), we have our frenzied mainstream media doing an awesome job spewing the usual rhetoric, shaping our opinions and branding our victims. The media instead of informing us, appoints itself as our collective conscience, jury, and executioner. 
  • Our law enforcement, which should have been the first on the scene, gets caught with its pants down (pun intended), fumbles, stumbles and launches a manhunt/investigation. Some of the more 'foot-in-mouth' diseased in the police brass will release a press statement objectifying women. 
  • Caught unawares, our politicians, for the intense need to remain relevant, will make a statement (insert random statement about 'short dresses/skirts/makeup/lifestyle) that will ruffle the manicured feathers of the Woman's Commission. 
  • The Woman's Commission will demand the resignation of the said police chief/politician. 
  • If the culprit is presumed influential, the cops will bungle up the investigation. Ditto if the victim is poor/not nicely connected/doesn't look like she will be a thorn in the butt in the future/won't make a movie out of the whole shebang. If none of the above, the cops will actually do some average cop-work and arrest the suspects. The media will serve you a hot juicy plate of the 'modus operandi' of the investigation. Down to the last chicken leg. 
  • Having read all of this, we - the 'shocked/dismayed yet concerned' citizens will sigh in relief and kick back on our cushioned recliners. All's well that ends well, eh? 

This is the way our media/politicians/law enforcement want. They are banking on our short-term memories about heinous crimes. When crimes like this are reported, it is but a speck in their eyes. An inconsequential bug in their windshields. Nearly all of the agencies involved will try to sneak a potshot at eachother. It's almost like some 40-year-old marriages. You know you hate eachother, but you still need eachother to survive. 
They will move heaven and earth to do just enough to satiate our thirst for salacious details but not enough to curb the crime. They want you to forget.

In an ideal world, the media must be gagged and prevented from whipping up mob justice. 
The media mustn't be allowed to spew opinions. 
Law enforcement should be motivated enough to do whatever it takes to solve crimes like this, and learn how from past crimes. They should let their work speak for themselves. 
Politicians should simply shut the fuck up. Period. 

India being India, we shouldn't expect cops to police (and not be corrupt). 

  • How many of you homeowners out here, will give a decent house to single women without setting a gazillion terms and conditions? 
  • How many of you parents know where your sons are, who they are with and what they are upto? 
  • How many of your parents have encouraged their daughters to learn self-defense courses like Krav Maaga? 
  • How many of you men out here will not give a second glance when you see a girl in skirt on the streets?
  • How many of you men out here will not download and watch scandalous MMS clips of girls being raped/filmed without their knowledge?
  • How many of you women out here know your rights and have reported crimes that happened to you/someone you know?
I have more questions that will make you squirm but you get the drift, right?

But then this is not endemic to India.
Barring the nordic region and a few countries in Europe, I doubt if women are any safer elsewhere. There are more unreported rapes in the West/Middle East/East than what they'd like us to believe. 
In Japan, young women are groped and raped in over-crowded trains on a daily basis. The crime is so popular that they even have a genre ('Rape Train Porn') for it.  
Underage rape is so popular in the US, that it is a billion dollar industry where young girls are dressed in bridal wear for their customers. Blacks and latinos aren't left out in the rape fantasy either. 
We wax eloquently about how strict rape laws are in the ME, but more women (with or without burqas) are raped every single day than in India. And if you have the gall to report, then you can be sure to be thrown in jail

Rape isn't an Indian thing. A lady isn't raped because she is wearing a particular outfit. Just because you don't hear it or see it, doesn't mean it isn't happening. 
In an earlier post, I'd written about how I think rapists must be punished - 
'I don't think hanging him/her will ever work. Death is too swift and too short for these monsters. I want a justice system that will put the guilty through the exact measure of trauma that the victims suffered. In the US, judges are allowed to decide the method and quorum of punishment, which has resulted in many curious verdicts that have both satisfied the victim and reformed the culprit, sometimes. I want rapists to suffer the shame, emotional and physical trauma and the untold agony of their victims. Why do we cover the faces of the guilty, when we love sharing the pictures (and names) of our victims? To rape is a horrible thing to do. And by sentencing them to the noose, aren't we letting them go easy? So this is what I propose - The guilty and his/her family must suffer the fullest extent of shame, their faces publicized, their financial credit ruined, their careers destroyed and be listed as a sex criminal and predator for the rest of their natural lives. Human rights? Unless you've been raped, you won't remotely understand why victims feel their predators don't deserve leniency.'
Men (and women) choose to rape only because they know the odds are stacked against the victim. They know they won't be caught and if they do, they know public memory of them will fade soon. Given the right representation in court, they will be walking free in a few weeks. 
They know they can change their names, move to a new city and start life all over again. 

Because they too want you to forget.

Recommended reading, if you'd like to read more...
Raped by my man
While you were gone... 
No Honor among thieves
Gutless
Acid Love
Good Job, folks!
3 Steps back
A New Low
Do Not Try This At Home
Chopping Block
Half


Sunday, January 01, 2012

My 365 Challenge: 'Being Current'

It's that time of the year again. When the adventurous in us decide to make resolutions for the next 12 months. 

'Quit smoking' appears to be a popular resolution. Not something most tobacco companies would cherish waking up to. 
Next on the list would be save money and resist the urge to splurge. Again, not good for the retailers. 


I've never bothered to create a resolution because there is something in me that fights against such a resolution the moment one is created. 


Many I know have decided on the 365 day challenge (Nevermind the leap year). People who enroll/choose such a challenge and they must do something interesting every day of the year. And document it online.


Now this could be the beginning of something nice!

My resolution for this year:

Sharper and better, I've resolved to write more consistently and prolifically. Now, while this could mean that I could end up dredging the internet and giving you a 'India TV' kind of kitsch, I intend to focus on news that actually make a difference. 
It could be anything; could be about that homeless bloke winning a million $ in lottery, who then spends it on women, booze and then goes back to living on the streets; or it could be about that heart rending story of how separated twins found each other after decades; it could be pure evil or puppy love. And everything in between. 







United shouts of joy!

Neetha had never witnessed the usual new year celebrations, so when she asked if I could show her around, I obliged.

So as soon as we finished the late night 'watch night' service at church, we headed towards Central Bangalore; which is normally deserted at 1 am. What met us instead was total chaos and anarchy. thousands of people- on foot, 3 in a bike, on top of cars, sun-roofs, on bonnets, and hanging out of open windows - cheering, howling, dancing.  Half naked.

The sheer volume of humanity cheering at about the same time, most of who are almost half drunk on cheap beer and inexpensive vodka, at complete strangers is so hearty and annoying at the same time.

Seeing as I have a phobia towards shaking hands with strangers, I either nod my head in approval or simply smile.  And these are the same people who you'd be utterly rude to or suspicious about if you met them when they are sober.


The camaraderie that people display towards each other is infectious. You'd see half drunk men, standing at the middle of the road hi-fying anyone who cares to return the love. Love is truly in the air.
Single women or women who appear vulnerable can feel overwhelmed though. But the cops did a mighty good job making sure the women were escorted and got a cab.


Overall, an experience that you must witness and perhaps participate in. Neetha for one, has checked this off her bucket list. 


My prayer, however would be that 'God's will prevail in everything that happens in my life' I wouldn't want it any other way.
My Resolutions? Well, that is still a work in progress but I'll have something in a day.


But here's wishing all my readers, friends and colleagues the best that life has to offer you this year. 


 


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy New Year!

The 52nd week of a year is always the most anticipated week.

I particularly enjoy reading the 'lists'. Of the new rich, of famous deaths, of milestones and unfortunate natural calamities and man-made disasters. The top 10 and the bottom 20. 
The creme de la creme of everything that matters and of everything that doesn't.

The time of the year when you retrospect on all that you did and didn't accomplish. 
A time when you look forward to a much better year ahead nevermind if you have been trailing behind with a crappy year already.
A time when everyone is euphoric and pessimistic at the same time. 


But what I really love are the frenzied commercials for new year's eve parties and the outrageous prices for couple tickets (with unlimited beverages and food, of course). Ranging from the modest (Rs1499/-) to the insane (Rs 24999/-), these parties promise you fire-breathers from the Orient, belly dancers from the Middle East, the hottest DJ's from the West and exotic themed parties.

I've been to two of these parties with a former girlfriend who'd hop parties and clubs like it was going out of style. On one of my visits to a new year's eve party, I recall the astronomical price of the tickets (at Rs 4999/-, it was a bomb 8 years ago). Being one of the most expensive parties does have it's advantages - it keeps the riff raff out. 
Off the 300 or so that came to the party, nearly all the women who came to the party were dressed in their finest, skimpiest party wear. A snip here or a tug there and the entire garment would have come off. Of course, you'd definitely want the attire to fall off when you are drunk and ready for some 'enchanting moments' with a person you'd normally not even get to second base. And second base they did. Over the course of the night, I saw nearly every couple in varying degrees of undressing and making merry in a way that you'd otherwise only see in a porn. Many of the women were carried off by their burly 'boyfriends' in the wee hours of the morning. 
Some were still naked and lying in a corner. Inebriated,  raped and oblivious.
What a wonderful way to ring in the new year!
And that was the last time I ever been to one of the eve parties.


What is about the New year and Christmas that makes people want to drink and make merry? I find it obnoxious that people associate Christmas and the New Year with partying and unfettered crapulence.

Surely, celebrate, drink to good health, prosperity and peace. 
But this time of the year should really be about reflecting on what we need to do to achieve our goals in the year to come. 

After all, goals are not self-fulfilling. 
Only prophesies are. 


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